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FIVE PILLARS IN TEACHING AND LEARNING MATHEMATICS

The mathematics curriculum was designed to provide the knowledge and


mathematical skills from various backgrounds and levels of ability. These skills
will help them to build their own career in the future.
The primary school mathematics education aims to build pupils
understanding of number concepts and their basic skills in computation that
they can apply in their daily routines effectively and responsible in keeping
with the inspirations of a developed society and nation. At he same time, they
can use this knowledge to further their studies in whatever field they want.

The teaching and learning processes emphasizes concepts building,


skill acquisition as well as inculcation of positive values. There are others
element that needed to be taken into account and learnt through the teaching
and learning processes in the classrooms. There are five pillars in teaching
and learning mathematics in school. The pillars are;

Problem Solving in Mathematics


Communication in Mathematics
Mathematical Reasoning
Mathematical Connections
Applications of Technology

PROBLEM SOLVING IN MATHEMATICS

Problem solving is the main focus in the teaching and learning of


mathematics. Understanding mathematical procedures and solving problems
are two skills that emerge naturally when relational understanding is focused
upon. As a result, problem solving approaches should be used to investigate
and understand mathematical content. The teaching learning process must
include exercises on problem solving skills which are comprehensive and
cover the whole curriculum. The development of these skills must to be
emphasized so that pupils are able to solve various problems effectively. The
skills involved are: Various strategies and steps are used to solve problems
and these can be applied to other learning areas. In solving these problems,
pupils learn to apply mathematics and gradually become confident in facing
new challenging situations. Among the problem solving strategies to consider
are;
Interpreting problems;
Planning the strategy;
Carrying out the strategy; and
Looking back at the solutions.
There are many steps and strategies that can be used to solve the problems
and these can be applied in other learning areas. In every problems that a
student facing, they will learn new skills that can make them become
confident to face any new problems that come to them. Pupil learns to apply
mathematics and gradually become used to any problem that they are facing.
Many strategies we can use in facing any problem solving question. Among
the problem solving strategies are
Working backwards
Trying a simple cases
Trial and improvement

Draw a diagram
Identifying patterns and sequences
Make a table
Simulation
Make analogy

Using these problem solving strategies, student will be able to solve any
problem easily. They will find that solving any problems in mathematic is a fun
thing. They will try to do more problems solving after that.
Teachers should engage students in mathematical discourse about problem
solving. This includes discussing different solutions and solution strategies for
a given problem, how solutions can be extended and generalized, and
different kind of problems that can be created for a given situations. All
students should be made to feel that they have something to contribute to the
discussion of a problem. Assessments should focus on the notion of whether
mathematics is being taught in such a way as to promote these aspects of
problem solving.

COMMUNICATIONS IN MATHEMATICS

To help us to be more understand the content of mathematics,


communications is one way that we can use to help us. Using good
communication, we can share and clarify the understanding of mathematics.
The mathematical ideas could be discussed and modified by talking and
questioning. Through effective communications pupils will become efficient in
problem solving and be able to explain concepts and mathematical skills to
their friends and teachers.
Mathematical communication can occur when students work in cooperative
groups. By working on problems with classmates, students also have
opportunities to see the perspectives and methods of others. They can learn
to understand and evaluate the thinking of others and to build on those ideas.
They may benefit from the insights of students who solve the problem using a
visual representation. Students need to learn to weigh the strengths and
limitations of different approaches, thus becoming critical thinkers about
mathematics. A teacher should monitor the students use of mathematical
language to help develop their ability to communicate mathematics. This
could be done by asking students if they agree with another students
explanations or having students provide various representations of
mathematical ideas and problems.
The communications skills in mathematics are;
1.

listening process occurs when individual respond to what


they hear

2.

reading process individuals collect information, they


rearrange the relationship through ideas and concepts.

3.

Visualisation process an individual makes an observation, analyses and

synthesises into graphic form.

4.

oral communication involves the activities like listening, speaking,


reading and observing.

- two way interaction between teacher-pupil,


pupil-pupil and pupil-object.

5.

Written communication mathematical ideas shared through writing


- exercises, scrap books, folios and written test

The following methods can create and effective communication


environment
Identifying teaching materials
Active learning
Stimulating meta-cognitive skills
Identifying the interest of pupils
Creating the conducive learning environment

MATHEMATICAL REASONING

Logical reasoning or thinking is the basis for understanding and solving


mathematical problems. The development of mathematical reasoning is
closely related to the intellectual and communicative development of the
pupils. Emphasis on logical thinking during mathematical activities opens up
pupils minds to accept mathematics as a powerful tool in the world today.
Pupils are encouraged to predict and do guess work in the process of seeking
solutions. Pupils at all levels have to be trained to investigate their predictions
or guesses by using concrete materials, calculators, computers, mathematical
representation and others. Logical reasoning has to be infused in the teaching
of mathematics so that pupils can recognize, construct and evaluate
predictions and mathematical arguments.
Reasoning mathematically is a habit of mind, and like all habits, it must be
developed through consistent use in many contexts and from the earliest
grades. At all levels, students reason inductively from patterns and specific
cases.
Teaching mathematics as an exercise in reasoning should also be
commonplace in the classroom. Students should have frequent opportunities
to engage in mathematical discussions in which reasoning is valued. Students
should be encourage to explained their reasoning process for reaching a
given conclusion or to justify why their particular approach to a problem is
appropriate. The goal of emphasizing reasoning in the teaching of
mathematics is to empower students to reach conclusions and justify
statements on their own rather than to rely solely on the authority of a teacher
or a textbook.

MATHEMATICAL CONNECTIONS

In the mathematics curriculum, there are many topics that need to be learnt by
a student. There are many cases that student failed to identify the connection
between topics in the curriculum. The failure of identifying and doing the
connection caused the student failed to master mathematics topic. In the
mathematics curriculum, the opportunities for making connections must be
created so that the pupils can link conceptual to procedural knowledge and
relate topics in mathematics with the other subjects that related to what they
learnt I mathematics. By making connections pupils are able to see
mathematics as an integrated whole rather than a jumble of unconnected
ideas. Teachers can foster connections in a problem-oriented classrooms by
having pupils to communicate, reason and present their thinking.
When these mathematical ideas are connected with real life situations and the
curriculum, pupils will become more conscious in the application of
mathematics. They will also be able to use mathematics contextually in
different learning areas in real life. The mathematics curriculum consists of
several areas such as arithmetic, geometry, measures and problem solving.
Without connections between these areas, pupils will have to learn and
memorize too many concepts and skills separately.
An emphasis on mathematical connections helps students recognize how
ideas in different areas are related. Students should come both to expect and
to exploit connections, using insights gained in one context to verify
conjectures in another. The opportunity to experience mathematics in context
is important. Students should connect mathematical concepts to their daily
lives, as well as to situations from science, the social sciences, medicine, and
commerce.

APPLICATION OF TECHNOLOGY

The methods of teaching and learning have changed with the society and the
rapid development of information technology. Teachers' role changes from a
transmitter of knowledge to a facilitator of learning. Therefore, they should
make appropriate use of information technology such as calculators,
computers and ETV to design diversified learning activities that are related to
pupils' daily life. It should facilitate the learning of pupils and hence enhance
their level of mathematics.
The use of teaching resources is very important in mathematics. This
will ensure that pupils absorb abstract ideas, be creative, feel confident and
be able to work independently or in groups. Most of these resources are
designed for self-access learning. Through self-access learning, pupils will be
able to access knowledge or skills and information independently according to
their pace. This will serve to stimulate pupils interests and responsibility in
learning mathematics.
The application of technology in the teaching and learning give many
advantages to us. In terms of students, the use of technology may
Engage their attention and motivate them
Stimulate their curiosity
Encourage them to develop their problem-solving strategies

In terms of teacher

Improve their efficiency

Remove their administrative burden

Provide better records

Release more time to address students individually

In terms of schools, the technology may,

Improve efficiency and reduce teaching costs

Improve provision to students who are not learning in their native

tongue

The application of technology helps pupils to understand mathematical


concepts in depth, meaningfully and precisely enabling them to explore
mathematical concepts. The use of calculators, computers, educational
software, websites in the internet and available learning packages can help to
upgrade the pedagogical skills in the teaching and learning of mathematics